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The children are downstairs playing

Saturday, Oct 22, 2011

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

The children are downstairs playing. I can hear their music coming up through the floor and it’s nice and familiar. It’s the same music of my youth.
I hold the handrails now, and they notice. Many of the children are in their 30s, 40s, and John is more than 50. They bring me dinner and even modest amounts of sake while I sit, talk, and listen.
The children are Artist & Craftsman people and we are at our every 6 month retreat (party).
So I sit as the patriarch or Dad. And each of my 17 managers sit, and I (or we, with Steve, 19 years with A&C) listen to their concerns and hopes. We say a few words but if required we’re together for a half hour one on one. There are now 17 and this one on one tradition started when were about 4.
I’m upstairs. I have a cold – you might too - trying to slow down so I can sleep. After this retreat I fly to Kansas City to help organize our new store, along with Tom, who will paint, and Trevor (from Charleston), who will spend a month plus setting up and training. So I really should sleep.
I haven’t yet figured out how I should sleep. No one has. Instead I’m writing to you and I’m told that some of you actually read what I write. Thanks. Thanks for your compliment.
Ok. The music is getting hard. I’m going to lie down for a while but I might have to go downstairs for another glass of sake.
I do love the young goings on. They are talking and flirting and becoming friends. That’s good for them, you, and of course, business.

0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

A Brief History of A&C – Seattle

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein


Seattle, WA, established 1996

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C


Larry & Steve
The original explorers—many years later

Our second store was in Seattle. One evening I was visiting with my friends, John & Anne Beldon back home in Portland, Maine. I related how I felt a single art supply store would no longer be competitive—for I saw big money coming into our little trade.


Where would I open store #2? Seattle, I thought, because my marriage was difficult & the west coast was far away. My dinner friend John had a real estate brother in Seattle so a week later I was on the west bound plane.


Upon arrival I rented a car and headed to the University district, a likely place to set up and art supply. We (Steve and I—he is now my general manager but at the time he had been with me just a few years) looked at vacant stores. In one such store I heard my name called: It was real estate brother “Buzz.” He was researching on my behalf.


What a coincidence. Buzz was the only person I knew in Seattle and in fact, we rented that U District store more than 15 years ago.


That store was a difficult learning experience for me because it was my first attempt to do business remotely. And I had to learn a whole new language. In Seattlese every sentence starts with a Please and ends in Thank You. Not so back east.


But I’m learning.




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